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Hitchin Town 0 Brackley Town 1

Tuesday, January 29 2008

Canaries manager Darran Hay sat in the clubhouse after this game and offered a humble and sincere apology for his side's defeat at the hands of Brackley.

After beating Mangotsfield, Hay may have felt a revival was on the cards, but Brackley reminded him there are no easy games in the BGB Premier Divison. Brackley performed a "smash and grab" operation on Hitchin, and there was little they could do about it.

As entertainment, this was definitely not a game to win five stars. But in the first half, Hitchin more than matched Brackley and honours were even. The only highlights of the half were a free kick by David Deeney that resembled a mishapen banana, and a Richard Pringle shot that was deflected on its way into goalkeeper Richard Knight's arms.

Anyone expecting a big improvement in the second period was disappointed. Nine minute into the restart, Brackley took the lead, Jerome Anderson racing clear of the Hitchin defence to meet a long ball and then shooting past Ricky Perks.

Hitchin worked tremendously hard, but they looked like a desperate team, scurrying around searching for a an opening, but lacking the muscle and guile to achieve their aim. Deeney had another free kick that went wide but it was not unitl the 87th minute that the Brackley goal was seriously under threat. A cross by Ricky Miller was touched on by Brett Donelly and Jon Stevesnon prodded it against the outside of the post.

In the dying seconds, Donnelly had a shot that cleared the target when perhaps he should have done better.

Hitchin: Perks, Pepper, Ducket, Williams, Gilbert, Stevenson, Olaleye, Deeney, Pringle (Donnelly 54), Armstrong, Miller (Mills 76)

Brackley: Knight, Richards, Murphy, Reeves, Brown (Oldfield 30), Green, Kearns, Savage, Rickards (Dunkley 64), Anderson (Benjamin 80), Winters

Attendance: 209

Referee: C.J. Francis

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